"Context on arrest of Dr Nasser bin Ghaith in the UAE:--more here: Twitter: @habibahmed
1. Since writing on Saturday http://www.twitlonger.com/show/9ogqrh with regard to the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor, the UAE’s internal dynamic has shifted.
2. The first arrest of @Ahmed_Mansoor was met with mixed responses by the UAE community, much of it based on speculation as to why he was arrested.
3. There were three types of criticism against Mansoor. A common accusation circulating, that Mansoor frequently directly criticised the ruling families is one that is enough, in the legal system, to merit an arrest.
4. Reuters has just reported that the arrest was related to a possession of alcohol, again an illegal act for a citizen. However, that Mansoor was both expecting the police well in advance and had called them formally after security outside his apartment showed up, leaves unanswered questions as to that charge.
5. Another type of criticism levelled against Mansoor was attributable to questions of loyalty, of Iranian origins i.e. loyal to Iran, or that he belonged to the Ikhwan. These accusations swiftly became redundant on the basis of subsequent arrests."
(link via Emirates Economist)
"The arrests over the last week of three pro-democracy activists in the United Arab Emirates should come as no surprise. Having sent troops to participate in the Saudi-led crackdown in Bahrain and having supported Egypt's Hosni Mubarak until his final days in office, the UAE regime has already signaled its strong preference for the status quo and its fear of greater Arab freedoms.--more here: Foreign Policy: The Making of a Police State
Previously a collection of federated, tribe-based, traditional monarchies, led by the well-liked Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan until his death in 2004, the UAE has since been morphing into a sophisticated police state led by Zayed's two principal sons from their Abu Dhabi power base -- the UAE's oil-rich, wealthiest emirate. Unlike their father, who had to consult with other tribal elders and powerful merchants across the entire country, the new rulers now govern with zero accountability over an increasingly urbanized and Abu Dhabi-dependent population, the movements and communications of which are now carefully monitored and censored."
(link via dr_davidson on twitter)
"With a tribal leader legacy, and credited with founding the UAE federation and harnessing its oil wealth for economic development, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan was generally well liked by his people. He had no real need to implement meaningful political reform during his lengthy reign. Instead the plan seemed to be to hold back this particular card so that his succeeding sons would be able to offer reform as their particular ‘gift’ to the people. However, since Zayed’s death in 2004 no such reform has taken place. Zayed’s principal sons – notably the ruler of Abu Dhabi and his crown prince/half brother – have instead played around with the UAE’s largely ineffectual Federal National Council. In 2006 elections were held for half of its 40 seats, but only a few thousand UAE nationals were eligible to vote, and even these were carefully screened. In early 2011, announcements were made that fresh elections would be held, but again the number of contested seats would be limited, only small numbers able to vote.--more here: Current Intelligence: Democracy Crackdown in the UAE
Seen as the final straw by many educated UAE nationals, especially given the dramatic pro-democracy revolutions sweeping the rest of the Arab world and the UAE government’s rather distasteful involvement in suppressing the Bahraini protests, two petitions were duly signed in March. Both called for universal suffrage and a fully elected national council. Some individuals went further and made public calls for a gradual shift to constitutional monarchy."
(link via dr_davidson on twitter